Mesmerized by the magical images and extraordinarily supple prose of G Wiv, I prevailed upon two proto-hounds to join me on Saturday morning for a shlep out to the Edgebrook Coffee Shop. With trusty print-out in hand (featuring their biscuits and gravy reproduced in gorgeous living color), we trundled our way westward. After all, Gary promised the best hash browns west of Wichita!
I pause to add a brief word about the ambience for those not yet fortunate enough to have visited. A true old-fashioned diner--with no tables, no booths, and a mere 15 or so stools--the three waitresses and one short-order cook were all abundantly kind, funny, charming, and welcoming. This is the kind of place where, when the seats open up with diners in between, the diners move in choreographed June-Taylor-dancer fashion to allow the next group to be seated together. Nary a grumble from the assembled multitudes. A truly warm and welcoming place.
We had three different breakfasts, all excellent (aforementioned biscuits and gravy, eggs and Polish, and corned beef hash). The hash browns, the ostensible reason for coming, were okay. Perhaps even good. But the best east of Wichita? Only if your stake is set at East Wichita. The potatos are crisp and browned, well-cooked, but without anything at all worthy of note. No unusual (or even usual) seasoning. No special garnish or add-ins. Unseasoned, uninterrupted by anything whatsoever that might have added some "je ne sais quoi" to them. If you seek such naked and unadorned potatos, then "East of Wichita" indeed. Otherwise, sadly, not.
All else was enthusiastically appreciated. From the orange juice to the coffee, the Polish to the eggs. (Though, truth be told, the corned beef hash was, like the hash browns, good without being noteworthy.) However, as one proto-hound aptly noted, considering the entire package, one would be hard-pressed not to want to return early and often.
And so I write to add my voice and recommendation to Gary's (and others')--but with the inevitable caveat: not for the hash browns.